Book #1 in the Glasswright series. I found this book a little bit hard to get into because I found Rani hopelessly naive and was getting frustrated that she managed to put herself into a terrible situation just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I kept thinking: oh I dont think you should trust these people Rani. But I kept reading and after the first two chapters I got really caught up in hoping Rani would be able to survive and figure out the strange conspiracy around her. I also loved some of the other characters like the leader of the band of Touched children - Mare, and the rhyming prince Hal. Pretty fast-paced young adult fantasy.
This was a light, fun fast read. (especially after Rushdie!) Set in a medieval-style fantasy world, a young apprentice accidentally uncovers a plot against the royal family within her guild. Her attempts to do the right thing only get her deeper in trouble, as she unwittingly gets involved in secret societies on both sides of a political conflict.
I did have some problems with the book: with the title, I would have expected the author to do some research into glassblowing and traditional methods of working with glass. We don't get to see any of that. The protagonist, Rani, could have been in any guild. When, as punishment, the guild is disbanded, too, there's no mention of how glass might be valuable to society and where they're going to get it if all glasswrights
Also, Rani is hopelessly naive. That's ok - some people are. But the author makes it painfully obvious who's lying, or whatever, and that Rani doesn't see it. The book would be more entertaining if things were equally opaque (or transparent) to both the reader and the protagonist.
Lastly, I really had a personal problem with the author portraying a strict, oppressive caste system as being "good." I know it's important to understand all sides of an issue - but I didn't feel there was enough exploration of the issue to justify her stance.
Good book with a twist on ending.
I found this book enjoyable, and didn't consider it YA Sci-Fi. The heroine was intelligent, resourceful, plucky and believable, and the storyline had some unique elements in a common theme. Recommended
Not the best book, but not that bad. It's probably a somewhat-accurate portrayal of a thirteen year old, but I never really got involved in the story. Was worth finishing, and the last big scene was fairly nicely done, but I won't be reading it again.
I also had problems with the ending--yes, it was nicely done, but ugh. It seemed to want readers to take away that castes are good. I am not convinced that the "good" guys were--look what they did to the Guilds! I think the book could be re-written from the view of the main character's brother and his side could be portrayed as the good guys--probably easier!
This is the first book of 5 in the series and it spends a LOT of time establishing the story. The tale of Rani and the Prince's murder is interested and it's neat how Rani moves through the classes of people within the city so well - I actually envisioned a more important role for her from this, but maybe that will come later...
I may be willing to give book #2 a chance just to see if the series is worth sticking with.
I found this book rather tantalizing. It not only had action, adventure and love, it also gave you something to think about. Rani Trader has grown up in a town where everyone has their own group and their own classification. Everyone usually stays within that class and doesn't mingle with the others. But Rani is put in a situation in which she will have to pretend she is in all the classes at one time or another. She finds that even though what she has been told, everyone is somewhat the same no matter what class. There is a lot more to the book as well. Give it a try!